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Wednesday Morning Mets Newsstand

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Over at, Ted Berg lays out some of the Mets' options at catcher for 2008. Aside from the obvious, Berg points to Mariners' backstop Kenji Johjima as a potentially good fit for the Mets. He is blocking catching uber-prospect Jeff Clement and the M's may be motivated to shop Johjima for help in other areas. Berg correctly points out that Johjima doesn't walk enough (just 15 in 485 at-bats), but he has a bit of pop and has a good arm behind the plate.

Johjima will be 32 in 2008 and would almost surely be a step up from Lo Duca. If he could be had on the cheap -- say, a couple of mid-level prospects -- he might be worth pursuing.

Also at, Michael Salfino tags along with a big league scout at the Arizona Fall League. There is a lot of really intersting stuff in there, so I suggest you all check it out for your own edification. Here's a snippet:

"The taller player like Ramirez or Alex Rodriquez, looking just at shortstops, have the advantage because their size allows them to generate power more effortlessly. But there's a limit on that advantage before size causes your swing to become so long that it doesn't matter how little effort you require.
New writer Zubin Mehta has a profile of Philip Humber up at MetsGeek. Zubin breaks down Humber's history, his 2007 season and what he expects from the Rice righthander in 2008.

While you're there, check out Paul Horan's profile of New Orleans manager Ken Oberkfell as well as minor league managers in general, not to mention Andrew Beaton's interview with Tim Marchman. Good stuff all around.

Speaking of Marchman, he has a new piece in today's New York Sun begging the Mets to stay away from Alex Rodriguez.

It is clear, then, that the Mets will at least attempt to meet this year's epic collapse with some equally epic display of idiocy. Doing something — even if that something makes no sense — is as much a team tradition as Kiner's Korner and the heartbreaking playoff loss. Perhaps a weak free agent market and a trade market in which the Mets don't have the young players to compete will keep them from harming themselves, but they will surely try.
If the Mets can find a way to bring in Rodriguez on a reasonable contract (reasonable is relative; I would consider 6/$150 for A-Rod reasonable), and can convince him to play somewhere other than third or short, then I say do it. Otherwise, I think Wright and Reyes are far too valuable where they are to even consider moving them. We shall see.

In The Post, Joel Sherman writes about the same thing Sean McNally wrote about a full week ago at Baseball Think Factory: The idea that Rodriguez, failing to find a suitable long-term deal this winter, could accept the Yankees' arbitration offer and either play in the Bronx for another year at $30+ million or negotiate a long-term deal during his window of exclusivity with the Yankees.

In another article, Sherman kicks the tires on a Miguel Cabrera trade. I'm especially amused by the article's sub-title: "YANKS EYE MARLIN 3B WHO THRIVED UNDER GIRARDI". While not factually incorrect, the implication here is that Cabrera was a far better hitter in his season playing for Girardi compared to other seasons, which is not really true. Cabrera has been a superlative hitter every year since he became a full-timer in 2004.

In his latest blog entry, ESPN's Rob Neyer discusses the Gold Glove voting biases (Subscription Required). In short, the three biases are:

  1. Voting for past winners
  2. Voting for superstar hitters
  3. Voting for players who make few errors but have poor range
Definitely check it out if you have an Insider subscription.